OAKLAND, CA - Cody Ross #13 of the San Francisco Giants is upset with a called third strike by home-plate umpire Scott Barry #87 that ended a MLB baseball game against the Oakland Athletics. The Athletics won the game 2-1. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
What should the Red Sox expect from their new outfield acquisition, Cody Ross? This handy guide should help explain things.
Congratulations! You've purchased a Cody Ross, a fine piece to any roster puzzle. Here are a few things you should know about his care and feeding:
1. He is now the most hated player on your team
Don't ask me to explain it. He's about as aw-shucks as players get, coming off as almost bashful in his post-game interviews. But there's something about him -- a cadence, a presence, a certain facial expression -- that drives opposing fans insane with rage.
Phillies fans, Braves fans, Mets fans, Rockies fans, Padres fans, Dodgers fans … they all hate Cody Ross. That sweet old lady at the bus stop with a Mets pin on her hat? Ready to turn into a typhoon of profanity and angry gestures if you just mention his name.
Maybe it's the homer hop:
I can see how teams would think that's annoying, if not rude. But you'll find out that it's because he just can't help it. Dude just likes to skip.
2. He's a useful player
It's really easy to make too much of platoon splits, especially when you consider that it's exceptionally hard to discern what's statistical noise and what's real. But if there is such a creature as a lefty-masher, Ross is it:
He's Matt Holliday against left-handed pitchers, and Gerald Williams against right-handed pitchers. With a manager who knows this -- and with a complementary piece like Ryan Sweeney -- the Red Sox should be pleased with Ross on a one-year deal.
3. He will try to murder you and those that you love
When he slumps, he throws his bat. It's amazing. And annoying. Somewhat murderous and sociopathic. If you have seats down the third-base line at Fenway, don't turn around to chat when Ross is up.
4. Your entire team will need to be inoculated
Ross was on the 2003 Tigers. That means shots for everyone! Not the good kind. There will be some soreness for a few days, but it will prevent that kind of abject suck from infecting the rest of the clubhouse. Andres Torres had to get one before joining the Mets. Fernando Rodney never got one. Well, down the hatch, Rays.
5. He's a pull hitter who should do well in Fenway Park
You can't tell from this hit chart which 330-foot outs were on a line and which ones were on the fly, so you can't just assume that he's good for five to ten more home runs at Fenway, but he has to be excited to get out of AT&T Park. Before that he was playing in Joe Robbie, which is another place in which it's tough to hit.
No, Boston: it's not a super-exciting move. The Yankees sort of traded for a 22-year-old All-Star pitcher while you were scouting Clayton Mortensen. But Ryan Sweeney wasn't going to be a starter by himself -- he needs help. Ross just might be the best low-cost, right-handed part of a platoon in baseball. Enjoy!
Also, don't get him wet or feed him after midnight. Trust us on that one.